I’ve always loved the 1911. It’s lovely design is only outmatched in beauty by it’s superb functionality. It’s easy to disassemble and clean, and put back together. It’s accuracy is superb. When I pull the trigger, the bullet goes exactly where I want it to go. I can take the numbers off the dummy target with precision I don’t find with other pistols.
I love the 1911 so much, that I keep it next to me almost all the time. It’s on my desk in front of me as I type this. In fact, it was the star of one of my YouTube videos debunking the “guns kill people” myth.
I’m not the only person who loves this gun. The government loved it too, so much so, that it made it the standard sidearm for our troops from its birth in 1911. It was at our troop’s side for 5 different wars, and is still in service today. That’s over 100 years of service.
As far as pistols go, this is arguably the best gun for new pistol owners. The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) agrees, and was expecting to get massive shipments (10,000 a year) of them for sale and distribution. For those who don’t know what the CMP is a national organization that trains and educations civilians on firearms and their use.
But Senator John McCain had other ideas, as now he’s introduced legislation in with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 that will have the 1911’s destroyed and recycled into components or different firearms.
SEC. 331. REPURPOSING AND REUSE OF SURPLUS MILITARY FIREARMS.
(a) Army Transfers.—
(1) REQUIRED TRANSFER.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the Secretary of the Army shall transfer to Rock Island Arsenal all excess firearms, related spare parts and components, small arms ammunition, and ammunition components currently stored at Defense Distribution Depot, Anniston, Alabama, that are no longer actively issued for military service.
(2) REPURPOSING AND REUSE.—The items specified for transfer under paragraph (1) shall be melted and repurposed for military use as determined by the Secretary of the Army, including—
(A) the re-forging of new firearms or their components; and
(B) force protection barriers and security bollards.
I understand what might be the sentiment. It costs $200,000 a year to store them, and the metal could be used to construct things the army could actually use. My problem here is that the 1911s McCain has marked for destruction and repurpose are primarily the ones meant to go to the CMP.
Why McCain feels the need to strip the CMP of their shipments of 1911’s to distribute to the people, I’m not sure. Perhaps it is just frugality, but getting M1911’s into the hands of civilians should be something any Republican should be gung-ho to do. Especially since the CMP is one of those organizations that sells to people who have only gone through all the necessary training and education.
On a sentimental note, this gun is a huge part of our history, and destroying them is a rather heartbreaking idea. Rather, they should be given to people who will use, or even collect them.